Tips and Tricks: Hydrating Curls

There’s a reason why curly hair is prone to dryness, frizz and even breakage. “The cuticles on curly hair are lifted around the curves, making it easier to release moisture,” says Sharon Medina, Stylist and Educator for Inoar. “The cuticles on straight hair naturally lay flat, so it’s easy for it took look lustrous.” But, this doesn’t mean that curly-haired clients can’t have glossy waves, spirals and kinks. It just takes a little extra pampering and moisture. Read on for Medina’s tips on giving curls the added hydration they crave.

Q: What ingredients are particularly effective at hydrating curly hair?

A: When it comes to adding moisture back into curly hair, oil-based products are fantastic. Jojoba oils, argan oils, nut oils and of course D-Panthenol help fill in the cuticle, giving you shine wash to wash. These oils keep curls flexible, control frizz and activate curl memory. They’re also key for adding shine and enhancing elasticity. D-Panthenol in particular helps the curls retain water for a softer texture.

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Q: When it comes to curl type—waves, ringlets and kinks—what specific suggestions do you have for keeping the hair soft and hydrated?

A: For wavy hair I like to use a mask with lighter oils and proteins. The lighter oils maintain the hair’s moisture without weighing it down, keeping the waves perfectly defined. For ringlets, try using a medium mask with richer oils and proteins.Even when you’re styling ringlets, try to find a gel or foam that’s both sulfate-free and high in oils. That way the ringlets stay bouncy and soft. And, for extra-tight curls and kinks, a heavy mask with lots of nut-based oils is a must. You also want to stay away from silicones. This curl type is super fine and dry. You need to fill it up with healthy proteins, not silicones that could clog the cuticle and cause breakage.

Q: When applying a hair mask, leave-in conditioner or hair oil, what method do you use to make sure the product really penetrates the hair shaft?

A: I love to divide the hair into horseshoe sections, making sure each section is fully hydrated. Starting from the top, twist medium-sized sections into zulu knots. The twisting action pushes the hydration deep into the hair shaft, and the knots act as a conditioning set.